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  • Dean Smith

The Most Common Workers Comp Claims and How They Happen

An article on Insurance Journal highlighted The Travelers Companies’ review of over 1.5 million workers compensation claims in the United States to complete its Injury Impact Report and get a feel for the top 5 workers compensation claims and their causes.

The Injury Impact Report reviewed workers compensation claims filed from an array of industries and all business sizes from the years of 2010 to 2014. And the most common injury award goes to…Strains and sprains (30%)! Cuts and punctures (19%), contusions (12%), inflammation (5%) and fractures (5%) follow respectively. The numbers are drawn as percentages of total claims.

To break down the numbers further by industry and business size, Insurance Journal notes, “Strains and sprains topped all lists for the most common type of injury except for small businesses, which experienced cuts or punctures most frequently, followed by strains and sprains. Eye injuries were among the most common injuries in both construction and manufacturing.”

Thankfully, severe injuries such as amputations, dislocations, electric shock, crushing and multiple trauma injuries (breaking multiple bones at once, for example) have the least amount of occurrences (and they cost the most!).

Of course, we have to ask HOW the injuries occur. The top 5 causes of workplace injuries according to Travelers Injury Impact Report are as follows; material handling (32%), slips, trips and falls (16%), being struck by or colliding with an object (10%), accidents involving tools (7%), and traumas occurring over time (such as an injury caused by overuse or strain) (4%).

The causes listed above created mostly “strains, sprains, cuts, punctures contusions, inflammation, fractures or chronic sicknesses resulting from a type of work (e.g. a skin disease caused by chemical exposure). On average, strains and sprains resulted in 57 missed work days, followed by cuts and punctures at 24 days. Of the most commonly-resulting injuries, inflammation and fractures caused the most time away from work at 91 and 78 days, respectively,” according to Insurance Journal.

And finally, the accident and injury it caused tended to be more common in certain industries than others, such as:

Material handling accidents (top cause of injuries overall) caused approximately 40% of injuries in the manufacturing and retail industries.

Falling from height was one of the top causes of workplace injuries in construction and retail.

Motor vehicle accidents were one of the most frequent causes of injury in the oil and gas industry.

Eye injuries were one of the most frequent in the manufacturing and construction industries.

The full report can be accessed from Insurance Journal’s website.

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